Major, Multi-Year Projects for Butler Plaza and Celebration Pointe

More than 100 acres of trees were cleared on both sides of Interstate 75 near Archer Road over the past month to accommodate upcoming major, multi-year projects for Celebration Pointe and Butler Plaza. These projects include a new Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart Supercenter, Bass Pro Shops, hotels, townhomes, offices and dozens of stores.

Nearby, a new road was completed for the 75-acre West 38 development in the western extension of Hull Road behind the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center. Last Tuesday, the Alachua County Commission approved a preliminary development plan to the 388-acre Springhills development that includes retail, office and residential.

Since August, Celebration Pointe cleared more at least 125 acres in the new development, and building construction will begin in summer 2015. The mixed-used project will include more than 300,000 square feet of retail space and 300,000 square feet of office space.

Front Street is handling the office space leasing for Celebration Pointe. The demand for office space has been very encouraging as companies choose locations in town center settings with proximity to restaurants, retail and hotels, said Nick Banks, Front Street’s managing director. “The market is embracing the project due to its I-75 access, proximity to UF and UF Health as well as its proximity to several residential communities where many business owners and corporate decision-makers live,” Banks said.  

The Butler North expansion includes a Gainesville Development Review Board-approved plan for a new 140,000-square-foot Sam’s Club with a gas station to replace the existing Sam’s Club on Northwest 13th Street that will close in 2016. A new Wal-Mart Supercenter will also open in Butler North to replace the 28-year-old Wal-Mart that exists in the eastern part of Butler Plaza. 


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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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